At the heart of Harriet E. Wilson’s autobiographical novel is Frado, the young daughter of a mixed-race couple, who is exploited first by a middle-class New England white family and then by an opportunistic husband on the abolitionist lecture circuit. In adopting the nineteenth-century conventions of both the sentimental novel and the narratives of enslaved people, Wilson delivered a scathing and ironic indictment of the racism of the antebellum North.
Hailed by Alice Walker as “powerful and…deeply important,” Wilson’s novel still speaks, unreservedly, to the hypocrisies of the American nation. Rescued from obscurity, this heart-wrenching chronicle now stands as a key work in the canon of African American literature.
Revised edition: Previously published as Our Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, this edition of Our Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.